January 30, 1942
The End of the Beginning
One more day to the end of the month, but nothing much happened today so I need a catchy title. Who better to crib than Winnie?
January 1942 is my least favorite month playing the Allies. It's worse than December because you expect titanic events in December, but January is a slog with few tools to wield. Running, running, losing, losing. Immense amounts of drudge housekeeping. Setting up hundreds of TFs, setting up pilot training, setting up sub patrol zones, setting up patrol planes, moving transports by the many hundreds to someplace where they can go to work. Every month afterwards rests on January to some extent. So it has to be done. But it's like flossing, not like eating the steak.
In this game January has not been too cruel. I have run a lot, especially in China, but in what I hope is a strategically interesting manner, one which makes Japan unsure of what the Allies are up to and how to respond. I held my carriers safe, Force Z the same, and lost only one BB on 12/7 and got three more safely off-map. There were some mistakes made, especially in the routes chosen for ship retreat the first week (USS Boise we hardly knew ya), mining patterns, the retreat in Malaysia which took too long to rebuild LCUs and thus lost a few, and too little supply forced into Singers. Probably others I'm forgetting. But at the beginning of January I thought Japan would be far more aggressive on land than has been the case. I thought all of the Celebes would be gone for example. I thought Palembang would be at least besieged today. I thought Japan would be building Rabaul. Would hold Manila. Would have Wake.
Another month of amphib bonus has gone and that's good. February has a real mass of upgrades open up, especially to DDs. Merchants begin to get a modicum of AA as they can be spared to go into the yard. CAs about double their AA suite too. And fighter production ticks up just a bit.
Much yet to do to set up defensive lines in Burma and elsewhere. I'm not happy yet with submarine production; too many have been tied up around Hawaii and only now are there four fleet boats appraoching the HI to test defenses and convoy routes. One will penetrate the Inland Sea if it can avoid mines. On land, intel has just given up yet another full infantry division prepping for Pearl Harbor; I must get more LCUs there. Two are on the water, a slight parachute unit and another USMC tank group. The Americal Division is unpacking at San Luis Obispo and will go aboard at SF in a week or so. Three BBs are en route to Pearl, Idaho just arrived this turn in SF, and Nevada comes out of the upgrade yard at Pearl at 100% tomorrow. A landing at Pearl will cost him if I can finish preps in February.
Much to be done. No time to waste.
1) Four busy bee AMcs at Merak clear 62 mines without mishap. The strait reads clear again.
2) Dutch sub attack wounds xAK, but more importantly gives intel:
Sub attack near Donggala at 67,98
xAK Arabia Maru, Torpedo hits 1
xAK Tokusima Maru
xAK Toko Maru
xAKL Tamaki Maru
Japanese ground losses:
10 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 1 destroyed, 0 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Light escort, carrying troops. Best guess is western Celebes, or maybe Kendari. The latter takes a medium bomber strike today and is by far the more attractive tactical target for area denial, but Japan seems to be going a yard too far if this is the whole effort. The surface response force at Soerbaja has two CLs now to help the DDs. This force might try an intercept unless a MKB is seen.
3) A lot of bombing in China doing pretty stiff damage to road marching units in several places. The corps plus HQ near Yenen is attacked again and loses 1650 disabled to 106. There is no help for them, no supply, no air support. They must keep marching and do the best they can.
A first air attack on Lashio does some supply damage, but also signals that Japan has realized how key this base is to the "China Strategy." I have detailed the beginnings of a Lashio defense I was not planning to undertake two days ago. Mandalay must hold, and that means Lashio must at least slow Japanese advancement. The number of tanks he has poised to come west is sobering. Lashio is on the railroad and can get supply if Mandalay has it to spare. This turn the Allies also began a a sustained series of moves to build Chittagong as a second potential supply flow route to Imphal and the Mandalay group. If supply cannot be forced into these bases the Chinese army is going to have to keep moving into India where it can get some supply. And that will imperil Burma greatly.
< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 12/29/2012 7:14:40 PM >